As the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency arrives on Saturday, its appropriate look at where the American public stands on the job the New York businessman has done relative to his White House predecessors.
According to Gallup, Trump’s approval rating ranks dead last among first-year presidents in the post-World War II era. As of the polling organization’s latest survey, conducted Jan. 8–14, Trump is 10 percent behind the next lowest rated U.S. president, Bill Clinton, at 39 percent.
Another poll released Friday by NBC News/Wall Street Journal shows Trump’s current 39 percent rating is also the lowest of any president at the end of their first year in office in the survey’s history. Former President Obama’s approval stood at 50 percent in mid-January 2010.
Trump’s divisive rhetoric, past lewd behavior and controversial policies are the most likely reason the all-time low first-year ratings, with NBC/WSJ finding “disgusted” to be the word U.S. adults most often used to describe his first year in office.
George W. Bush, the last president to win the White House while losing the popular vote, had approval ratings hovering around 53 percent before receiving a boost from the 9/11 attacks.
However, you can see in the graph below that Bush’s Gallup rating in the first year (blue line) were always higher that Trump’s (green line). Bush’s approval ratings at the end of his second term were lower than Trump’s are now.
Richard Nixon’s approval ratings were 25 percent when he decided to resign rather than face likely removal from office by impeachment. Many in his own party abandoned Nixon in his last days over the Watergate scandal.
Those hoping for President Trump being impeached may have to wait for a further decrease in his popularity, however, as his support among Republican voters remains strong at 83 percent according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
GOP congressional members may also be reluctant to abandon the president politically as they could face pro-Trump primary challenges as a result.
The U.S. Constitution requires a majority of the House of Representatives to impeach a president and then two-thirds of the Senate to remove him or her from office.
When President Clinton faced impeachment, his approval ratings improved in year five of his presidency and the Democrats gained seats in the 1998 midterm elections. In both graphs below, Trump’s first year approval ratings can be seen in the green line.
Given the comparisons to America’s most controversial presidents, public opinion of Donald Trump’s job performance could be headed toward all-time record lows by the end of his first term in office if the dysfunction in Washington continues.
[AP] [NBC News] [Photo courtesy TODAY]